Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/131
fell ill. Clement VII. tried in vain to appease him. Through his secretary and Sebastiano del Piombo he advised him not to overwork himself, to show restraint, to work at his ease, to take a walk now and then, and not reduce himself to the state of a labourer. In the autumn of 1531 they feared for his life. One of his friends wrote to Valori: "Michael Angelo is extenuated and emaciated. I spoke about him recently with Rugiardini and Antonio Mini, and we came to the conclusion that, unless he is seriously looked after, he will not live long. He works too much, eats little and badly, and sleeps still less. For the past year he has been racked with pains in his head and heart." Clement VII. grew alarmed, and, on November 21, 1531, issued a brief forbidding Michael Angelo, under pain of excommunication, to work at anything else than the mausoleum of Julius II. and that of the Medici, in order to husband his health and thus be able "to glorify Rome, his family and himself all the longer."
He protected him against the importunities of men like Valori and the rich beggars who, according to the custom of those days, came to beg for works of art and imposed fresh commissions upon him. "When they ask you for a picture," he wrote to him, "you ought to attach your brush to your foot, make four strokes, and say, 'the picture is painted.' " He interposed between
- " . . . Non voria che ve fachinasti tan to. ..." (Letter from Pier Paolo Marzi to Michael Angelo, June 20, 1531.) Cf. letter from Sebastiano del Piombo to Michael Angelo. (June 16, 1531)
- Letter from Giovanni Battista di Paolo Mini to Valori. (September 29, 1531.)
- " . . . Ne aliquo modo laborare debeas, nisi in sepultura et opera nostra, quam tibi commisimus. . . ."
- Letter from Benvenuto della Volpaja to Michael Angelo. (November 26, 1531.)